Lilly had been driving with her father and 7-year-old brother in their red Dodge truck when another car pulled up next to them and began shooting into the vehicle on the westbound Interstate 40. Lilly was shot in the head and later died at the University of New Mexico Hospital.
In an interview with investigators after he was first arrested, 32-year-old Tony Torrez tearfully admitted to the crime. “There’s no reason it should’ve happened, I know, I [messed] up,” he said in the newly released video, which was obtained by KRQE.
According to court documents, Torrez told a friend that “he shot the girl on Interstate 40” and that Garcia’s “red truck tried to run Tony off the road.” That friend then called police.
When questioned, Torrez told investigators that he was “in fear for his life” because Garcia’s father was trying to run him off the road. He said he tried to get away, but the truck kept coming back, so Torrez did the only he could think of: He grabbed his gun and fired at the truck.
“I shot at him,” he said.
Torrez insisted the shots were intended only as a warning and that he had no idea there were kids in the truck. “I just pointed and shot, I didn’t even like, look,” Torrez said.
It was only afterwards that he began to consider the consequences of his actions. “I started thinking what if I shot somebody, I’m [in trouble] if somebody is hurt,” said Torrez. “And then the little girl ends up … dead, are you kidding me?”
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Detectives reprimanded Torrez for his callous disregard for human life, saying he should have anticipated what happened when his fired his weapon. “I know, I’m a … idiot,” he answers. “I’m going to rot in hell forever.”
Torrez is charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
Lilly’s parents have said they want Torrez to pay for what he did. “He’s not a man. He’s lower than that,” Alan Garcia said in an interview with NBC News, while his wife, Veronica, had a message for Torrez himself: “You’re going to continue to see our face,” she said. “I will be there until I know he’s sentenced and I know he’s put away and even after that.”